He’s the guy next door – a man’s man, with the memory of a little boy. He never got over the excitement of engines and sirens and smoke and danger. He’s a guy like you and me, with warts and worries and unfilled dreams. Yet, he stands taller than most of us.
He puts it all on the line when the bell rings. A fireman is at once the most fortunate and the least fortunate of men. He’s a man who saves lives because he has seen too much death! He’s a gentle man, because he seen too much of the awesome power of violent forces out of control. He’s responsive to a child’s laughter because his arms have held too many small bodies that will never laugh again.
He’s a man who appreciates the simpler pleasures of life. . . hot coffee held in numbed, unbending fingers. . .the flush of fresh air pumping through smoke-and-fire convulsed lungs. . . a warm bed for bone and muscle compelled beyond feeling. . . the camaraderie of brave men. . . the divine peace of selfless service and a job well done in the name of all men.
He doesn’t wear buttons or wave flags or shout obscenities. When he marches, it is to honor a fallen comrade. He doesn’t preach the brotherhood of man. He lives it!